Sunday, June 8, 2008

Singers and Brothers

Yesterday morning I set my mind to be the wonderfully domestic, Mom, God meant me to be.

The Project: Cut the "too flared" legs off of 2 pairs of jeans and hem them; so dd could have 2 more pairs of shorts for Camp Charis this week.

Considering myself to be of average intelligence, I reasoned..how tough can it be? Other mothers do this. Surely, it can't be too hard!...Can it? Remember, I sewed a strange shirt together in high school Home-Ec class over 30 years ago, right? Okay, in all honesty, my friend Cheryl really sewed most of the shirt for me when the teacher wasn't looking...but I threaded the machine!

Pretending to know what I'm doing...I instructed dd to put on the first pair of jeans so that I could....ummm...measure. Yep, I was going to measure (that sounded like a good start). So, as dd modeled the jeans, with hands straight down to measure where her fingertips would fall...I took my trusty scissors and tried to cut a straight line around her leg while she was squealing and jumping because she said it tickled. After getting all four legs (of the pants!) cut off, I proceeded to pull out a sewing machine.

Yes, I actually own two sewing machines. Can't sew...but I own two! One of my most prized possessions is my mother's tiny, old, black Singer sewing machine. So many wonderful memories of her are pulled out of that box each time I open it!


As a young wife at 18 yo, expecting her first baby, my mom purchased this machine brand new in 1956. She made all her own clothes and most for her new baby. My dad says she paid $17 a month for a VERY long time to pay it off. Didn't I say it was one of my most prized possessions?

My mom was a most excellent seamstress. She made too many things to list...but some of the more notable projects included: all my Easter dresses; matching red wool blazers for 3 sons, and 1 husband that matched the red dresses made for herself and her daughter (she never sewed anything red again!); drapes for our home; a yellow gingham bedspread, curtains and canopy for my teen bedroom; and hemmed many, many pairs of pants for the four kids in her home. I think she was very disappointed that no matter how hard she tried to teach me to sew... it never quite clicked. After patiently trying to show me over and over...she would finally give up and do it herself. (I can really identify with that now that I'm a mom...back then, I was just glad to be let loose to go do something else!)

As usual, I digress...Since this job sewing denim was one I considered too tough for my precious little Singer (don't want to mess it up!), I pulled out the Brother sewing machine I inherited from Mr. Fix-It's aunt. This one is a bit more complicated and sews zig-zag stitches. Mom's little Singer never even heard of zig-zag! (Actually, I can't quite understand why anyone would really want to zig-zag...but that's something I'll have to contemplate another time.)

So, after getting the instruction book to figure out how to put the bobbin in (it took me 10 minutes to figure out how to get the little cover off -- it just pops off!), I examined the illustration showing how to thread the needle. [Now, remember, I just got my contacts changed and gave up being able to see things close up without glasses.] So, I put my trusty reading glasses on and tried to thread the needle. Finally, I'm successful at threading the needle. Wahoo!

I go back to the little book and re-read how it should be. As I read, I see it say "thread the needle from back to front"...Oh, no! I did it backwards (front to back), so I pull it out and try to thread it from the back. After numerous unproductive attempts, I call for dd to "Please come do this for me before I start cussing!" (I would never really do that...but it made it sound more urgent...okay, I might!) So dd, starts trying to thread the needle as I re-read the instructions AGAIN. This time, I read them "thread the needle from front to back"...What? How did I read that wrong when I had it threaded RIGHT? ACKKKK! Soooo.... after 2 different pairs of glasses, 1 frustrated dd, and 1 really aggravated mom...I finally get the machine ready to sew.

Now, any of you who have ever sewn on denim, you know about broken threads, needles that don't want to go through the layers at seams, etc....you get the picture. FINALLY, after over an hour of struggle, jean shorts #1 has been completed. Yay!!!!

Now to the second pair. Long story short...legs not even. Pull out threads, start to sew again. Bobbin runs out of thread. Get book out again to figure out how to fill bobbin. Fill bobbin. Re-thread @#$%^ needle. Legs REALLY not even. Cut another inch off of long leg...re-sew. Now legs look fairly even...but one leg only shows one line of hem...the other has two sewn lines...dd says "It's fine!... I don't care! ...Just quit sewing!!!!"

Love that girl!

[Note to Self: You are NOT Wonder-Woman like Pat Weso! Don't EVER try to save $$ again. PAY the $15 for shorts already sewn!]

3 Click here to Comment!:

Kelley said...

Well, I'm very impressed...and although my mom is wonder-woman in many ways, even she didn't attempt to sew shorts for us:-) None that I can remember anyway...we just had to make do with whatever she managed to find at garage sales that Saturday! So feel good about yourself, you have ventured where Pat Weso has not... (if you're reading this mom and I am not remembering correctly but you did sew shorts for us, don't mention it to Mary...let her bask in the glory of doing something she thinks you didn't:-)

mamaweso said...

Aha -- you are talking about me! Kell's right -- I never did sew shorts (although I did make a couple of cute Easter dresses).When my girls needed BELOW the knee coulottes (how do you spell that?) I had my mom sew them. She's the seamstress in the family! I had to buy Matt men's pants recently because he's outgrown "boys" sizes -- but they were way too long so I had to hem them. And you can tell that I hemmed them if you look closely (so don't look closely). Bask in your experience woman!

Pat

casabellabella said...

Love the story! I feel your pain, as I too, have broken needles sewing denim before. Look at your sewing experience this way, now you will be that much closer to knowing what to do the next time you want to sew something. As long as it's soon and not years from now!

Love the scrolling line at the top of your blog. How did you do that?

Since I'm spening time reading your blog today, don't expect anything new posted on mine. LOL!

I see you linked us together. I had a hit from your site to mine. Cool!

Kara